Fried Green Tomatoes (in the oven!)

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We love fried green tomatoes at our house! I hear so many people say they’ve never tried them and I am just shocked. Ha! It must be a southern thing, but I just thought everyone had the opportunity to try them growing up. Either way, I think everyone should try them!

NEED:

3 medium green tomatoes, sliced. (I always find mine at our local farmer’s market.)

Cooking spray (we use olive oil spray)

Olive oil

Cornmeal

1 cup of milk

1 egg (large, small, brown, whatever. We get ours from my mom so they’re pretty farm fresh and luck of the draw šŸ˜‰ )

Salt/pepper to taste if you prefer. Sometimes I do not add anything extra.

Baking sheet

**TIP: Slice your tomatoes thick. If sliced too thin, they’ll cook like a green tomato chip because they’ll completely dry out faster.

DIRECTIONS:

Lightly spray your baking sheet and preheat your oven to 350.

Set that aside.

In a small bowl beat egg and milk together.

In a container with a lid or ziploc bag, add your cornmeal and any seasonings to taste.

Place each slice into the milk/egg mixture, then place it into your cornmeal container.

Once you have about 5 or 6 pieces in the cornmeal, close the lid and shake. Shake it a lot to make sure the pieces are truly covered. You can check and make sure, and manually turn them over if needed. (Unless you peeled the skin from each slice, there more than likely will not be flour on the edges. They will turn out fine.)

Then place each slice on the baking sheet. You can space them closer together if you have more slices.

Repeat until all of your slices are on the baking sheet.

Take your olive oil and drizzle across all of the slices. (Add salt and pepper here if you want to.)

Bake for 15 minutes in the oven.

Take a fork and turn every slice over, drizzle olive oil on the slices, and bake again for another 20 minutes.

Let them cool before serving.

DELICIOUSNESS!

This is such a perfect recipe to stick in the oven and be able to continue preparing the rest of your meal.

***You can also use squash and the same recipe to get oven fried squash! šŸ™‚

Fried Green Tomatoes

As you can tell, one was snatched off of the tray a little early. šŸ˜‰

 

 

Southern Mom Life’s {Easy} Homemade Chicken Salad

 

We love chicken salad around our house. There are a few restaurants where I LOVE to pick it up for lunch, but we like to throw some together at home for quick sandwiches every now and then. We have done a homemade recipe where we boiled our chicken; however, when we decide last minute or find ourselves in a time crunch, it is great to have some cooked chicken on hand. (Explains why this recipe is called Easy Homemade Chicken Salad.)

****SIDE NOTE: I noticed when putting this post together that we buy a lot of Wal-Mart’s brand “Great Value”. That is probably because I am such a cheap-o when it comes to grocery shopping. Groceries are so expensive, you almost have to be! You will notice almost everything in this recipe is Great Value brand, ha! Maybe I should have named it “frugal and easy.” šŸ˜‰

 

INGREDIENTS:

  1. (2) Cans of cooked chicken breast (I usually buy sodium free as well)
  2. Mayonnaise
  3. Mustard
  4. Pickles
  5. (1) Celery stalk
  6. (3) Boiled Eggs (We used fresh farm eggs from my Mom’s house)
  7. Freshly sliced tomato (For adding to the sandwiches šŸ™‚ )

 

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THE STEPS:

Chicken Salad 1

Dump the chicken, chopped celery, and chopped pickles into the bowl and add a little mustard.

chicken salad 2

Mix it all up. And if you prefer it like I do, “chop” the chicken while you’re at it.

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Next, add your mayo. I apologize, I do not have a measurement. Our kitchen is more of a measure-by-taste kind of kitchen for some things. šŸ˜‰

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By now your boiled eggs should be cool, so chop them up and blend them in with a spoon. This should help absorb some of the creaminess. Also, if it is still too sweet… try adding a little extra mustard. If it is somehow not sweet enough, my mom has added less than a teaspoon of sugar to hers before.

This usually makes enough for 5 or 6 sandwiches! Definitely enough for a summer weekend lunch plus leftovers for Monday at work. I love easy and light recipes during summer when it is so hot and humid!

New Found Love for Bolthouse Farms

Over the last year I have struggled with an Iron and Vitamin B12 deficiency. I currently inject a monthly B12 shot just so that I can have the same level of energy that every one else naturally produces. Yay. Not. It has been almost a year now, so it doesn’t bother me as much as it did. I can always tell the difference in how I feel toward the end of the month when it is almost time for the next shot. I feel a lot more tired even after getting 8+ hours of sleep. I’ve also had 5 Iron treatments since May 2013 as well. Being iron deficient also can be a cause of the tiredness. Either way, I’ve been struggling with this for a year now and every chance I get I have searched out foods or drinks that naturally contain iron and B12. This is how I found Bolthouse Farms.

I knew that blueberries naturally contained B12, and one day while shopping in Wal-Mart I saw the Bolthouse Farms Blue Goodness drink and picked it up to check it out. The first thing I noticed was that on the side of the bottle it listed the amount of each fruit included in the bottle in addition to the fact that the drink is non-GMO and preservative free. I looked around at all of their different options and noticed that most all of their drinks are non-GMO and some are even gluten free! At my local Wal-Mart I can even get them for $2.68 for the single serving size!

I love drinking the Blue Goodness drink for breakfast. Usually one of the larger bottles is enough for two mornings. When I have drank Bolthouse Farms drinks a few days in a week, I can tell the difference in my energy and how I feel. I know it may be a combination of the B12 shots as well, but when you are OVER being so tired for no reason, you will get excited about anything extra that helps.

**SIDE NOTE: Bolthouse Farms does not only make fruit drinks. They have MANY, MANY vegetable drinks as well. They also sell carrots for snacking, cooking, etc. We love to get their baby carrots for snacks. šŸ™‚ Those can be found in your local produce section. I tried out a few of the vegetable ones and well… I believe I will just have to stick with eating those on the table. I couldn’t do it in the drink form. I need it to be sweet apparently. I wish I would have had someone to share them with, because we just had to throw them away. Even my daughter wouldn’t drink them. Ha! Must run in the family.

 

Below are just a FEW of my favorite drinks from Bolthouse Farms:

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Mango Coconut Splash

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I will add, that these drinks are not low calorie drinks. So, if you count calories you may want to incorporate these drinks in with a smoothie or shake instead of drinking the whole drink as a single serving. I am sure some of them would be great to make in a smoothie with some protein, plus almond milk or coconut water or water and then add ice, especially the strawberry banana drink.Ā  May have to give that a shot and let you know how it turns out!!

If you decide to try out Bolthouse Farms, let me know which ones you love!

 

 

Bacon and Coconut Oil

I posted a while back about how I had joined the band wagon for Coconut Oil. Even though I have been using it over the last few months, I am still learning and finding new ways to supplement it for cooking oils, butter, etc.

This past weekend, our daughter spent the night with my mother. So, Saturday morning we were able to sleep late and get up to fix breakfast just when we wanted to. Not the moment the sun peeped through the blinds, which to our daughter translates as “time to get up!” (I have seriously considered black out panels on every window in the house.)

Once we finally rolled out of bed and decided to join the functioning world, I decided I had a good morning to cook us a big meal to enjoy together. What weekend breakfast would be complete without unhealthy bacon?? šŸ˜‰

I opened the cabinet and was about to grab the olive oil (I know it is healthier than canola or vegetable oil), but it just hit me that I had never tried to fry much with coconut oil. Hm.. that’s EVEN healthier. I gave it a shot. It took about 3 tablespoons, but it cooked the bacon great! No turning brown once the grease was too hot. AND once it was removed from the skillet and placed in the plate, there was not excessive grease that would make your stomach turn for days. I have always loved bacon, grease and all! Now, however, I feel a lot better about eating it and will hopefully manage to live a little longer. šŸ˜€

 

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Here is what the coconut oil looked like cooking the bacon. Sorry, there’s no “after” picture. I’m still new at this blog-about-what-I-do-in-the-kitchen thing since there’s usually not much to blog about. Ha!

I always purchase our coconut oil at Wal-Mart for $5.98! It is 30 oz and usually lasts a month or two. Depends on what kind of cooking I’m up to lately. You can find out the look here.

Where do you find your coconut oil? Have new ways to cook with it? Share them with me!

National Fresh Fruit and Veggies Month

Happy Monday, everyone!

June is National Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Month and even though we eat a lot of fresh fruit (sometimes from Wal-Mart or a local grocery store) and stop by our local farmer’s market periodically, we are going to make an effort to patronize our local Farmer’s Markets a little more this month! We have one here in our home town that is about 3 miles from our house. There is also one next door to where I work in Morgan County! I’m thinking one day on my lunch I might walk over.

This past weekend my daughter and I spent EARLY Saturday morning at the Lawrence County Farmer’s Market and then stopped by Wal-Mart as well to get a few things we couldn’t find.

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Buy Fresh. Buy Local.

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FRESH PEACHES!! ā¤

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The green tomatoes were also a farmer’s market find. Strawberries and bananas had to be found at Wal-Mart, though. *Look out for some upcoming fried green tomatoes. šŸ™‚

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Wal-Mart actually had a “Grown Local” section and I was able to get 8 ear of fresh corn for $2!! I’ve already spent time planning ideas.

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Another thing I love about the farmer’s market: homemade jellies and preserves!! They taste better than store bought any day!

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Then Sunday night, I stopped by Wal-Mart to pick up some meats for the week and picked up a few more things! Celery, Kiwis, Nectarines, Cucumbers, Carrots. I am excited!! šŸ˜€Ā 

We had so much fun with all of the shopping! Somethings my daughter is still iffy on, but I’m glad she loves fresh fruits and veggies!

What kind of fresh fruits and veggies do you like to cook with or snack on??

Birthday Bucketlist: Try a new Food

Quiche

Okay, is it fair to put a quiche in here as “try a new food”? I mean, I have tried everything used in the quiche I’ve tried lately, just never together and never as a quiche. Like the ham and Swiss or the spinach and mushroom. I’ve decided though, a quiche itself was new for me. And it was A-Ma-ZING! A local bakery offers a quiche of the day which comes with a hot fluffy crescent roll and a “taste of fall salad.” I may or may not have had the quiche special twice in one week. If you are ever in the Decatur area, find All Wright Bakery during the week before 2 p.m. and try their Quiche Special!

swiss-chard-quicheThis is not my exact dish, but it is exactly what my mushroom and swiss quiche looked like when I picked it up.
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Gyro

For the record (and in displaying my southern ignorance in all its glory).. I learned after eating this that it was pronounced “euro” NOT guy-roe. HA. Regardless, I love them. A new restaurant has opened up one street over from where I work. I have never tried Greek food and this was a great first impression. A gyro consists of meat that is roasted over a vertical spit. I could actually see this in the restaurant I visited. I found that interesting and cool enough. I went pretty basic with the first visit, just to be on the safe side. I did not want to end up hating it and have to buy lunch twice. Everything was great. I even loved the sauce they provide, even though I ate it with the fries and it might have possibly been intended for the gyro.

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52313383eca59.preview-300This is the Gyro Uno location in Decatur, AL now!

Rabbit

I saved this one for last because I didn’t want to scare you away. Ha. Man of the House is very self sufficient and likes to use a pellet gun to shoot rabbits, dove, etc. (He also hunts, fishes, and bowfishes.) I made the mistake of letting him know that I had NEVER eaten rabbit. I’m not sure it had ever became an option during my childhood? We always had deer meat, or venison, plus store bought chicken and our own beef and pork. I wasn’t sure how I felt about eating an animal close enough to the ground to be similar to the rodent family. Okay, kidding, I do not consider rabbits a part of the rodent family, but still. We have cooked rabbit for dinner as of last night. I had printed 4 different recipe choices so that we could decide what we really preferred. Man of the House wanted Rabbit Stew, but I just couldn’t go for stringy rabbit the first time. We used a recipe that had the fewest ingredients. 1 whole rabbit, 1/3 cup of honey, mustard, salt, pepper, butter. (I substituted the butter with Coconut Oil so that it wouldn’t be so greasy.) We added extras of both the honey and mustard until the sauce tasted how we wanted. It baked for an hour at 350 degrees. I’ll admit, I was too much of a chicken to try one of the thighs. But I did eat a piece of the tenderloin and it was alright. Not my favorite dish ever, just reminded me of dark meat chicken. It just felt so thick trying to chew it up, or maybe that was me being paranoid. Either way, I definitely tried a new food with this dish! And can attest to the fact that if something gets real crazy here in America, I will not starve. Unless the rabbits are all gone. Not sure where I could go from there. Ha!

First Ever Rabbit REcipe

So, I am just trucking right along marking things off of my Birthday Bucket List. Yay me!

How about you? Are you getting some yearly Bucket List things done now that we are a quarter of a way into 2014? Are you trying new foods as well? Share them with me so that I can try them as well if I have yet to do so!

Coconut Oil

With my recent life changes and trying to be healthier (and possibly living a little longer), I have found Coconut Oil. I think I may be somewhat behind on this craze, but I am so glad I found it! Coconut Oil has SO many uses it can be completely overwhelming. Even Man of the House says, “let me guess, Coconut Oil can help that, too?” Ha. He won’t admit it, but his heartburn went away the other night after I convinced/forced him to eat a spoonful of coconut oil.

A few of its uses apply to us as a family or individually. Man of the House is not altogether sold on the idea of it, but he goes along with certain things just to please me. Like eating a spoonful to see if it helped his heartburn. He didn’t complain any after that. (For the record, pure virgin, non-GMO coconut oil has zero taste. The consistency is like when butter melts in your mouth, but there is no taste. It is slightly strange at first. It is similar to eating a spoonful of water and butter at the same time.)

Here are some new ways we are using and substituting with Coconut Oil:

  1. Substituting butter. Perfect example: We grilled on Sunday, and I made sliced ranch potatoes. I placed the coconut oil in the aluminum foil wrapped around the potatoes instead of butter, and it cooked the same but with less fat.
  2. Energy Boost. I read to dip a tablespoon of coconut oil in Chia seeds for an energy boost and to NOT take this at night. I tried it one morning when I was dragging, definitely better than drinking coffee and ending up with stained teeth, etc. TRY IT! (:
  3. Healing Stretch Marks. Hey, when you have carried a child and you end up with stretch marks, no matter how minor they are, you’d like a little help making them a little more subtle. I have noticed a changed with only two uses! I will eventually do a separate post on extensive results over a period of time.
  4. Helping with weight loss when consumed on a regular basis. I don’t have results or proof of this theory yet, but I am testing it out.
  5. Reducing appearance of cellulite. I’m actually not using it for this purpose, but my sister-in-law is. She is a small framed woman who does not need to lose weight, but is uncomfortable with the appearance of cellulite on the back of her thighs. How many of you are in the same situation? Well, I will keep up with her and see how it turns out! In the mean time, it wouldn’t hurt to start trying as well. (;
  6. EXTREME FACIAL MOISTURIZER. Unless you have EXTREMELY dry skin, I suggest only using this two or three nights a week. And only at night. (:
  7. Helping with Heartburn. Well, this is a premature assumption since we only tried this once. Will be trying this again in the future just to find out.

There are many, MANY other uses for Coconut Oil, but these are the ones we are utilizing right now in our lives. I was given a listing for 101 uses for Coconut Oil! I am going to eventually try as many of them out as possible as long as they apply to our needs and life.

Do you use Coconut Oil? What is your favorite way to incorporate it into your routines?